19:20י״ט:כ׳
1 א

העיר הזאת קרובה. קְרוֹבָה יְשִׁיבָתָהּ, נִתְיַשְּׁבָה מִקָּרוֹב, לְפִיכָךְ לֹא נִתְמַלְּאָה סְאָתָהּ עֲדַיִן (שבת י'). וּמַה הִיא קְרִיבָתָהּ? מִדּוֹר הַפַּלָּגָה שֶׁנִּתְפַּלְּגוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים וְהִתְחִילוּ לְהִתְיַשֵּׁב אִישׁ אִישׁ בִּמְקוֹמוֹ, וְהִיא הָיְתָה בִּשְׁנַת מוֹת פֶּלֶג, וּמִשָּׁם וְעַד כָּאן נ"ב שָׁנָה, שֶׁפֶּלֶג מֵת בִּשְׁנַת מ"ח לְאַבְרָהָם. כֵּיצַד? פֶּלֶג חַי אַחֲרֵי הוֹלִידוֹ אֶת רְעוּ ר"ט שָׁנָה, צֵא מֵהֶם ל"ב כְּשֶׁנּוֹלַד שְׂרוּג, וּמִשְּׂרוּג עַד שֶׁנּוֹלַד נָחוֹר ל', הֲרֵי ס"ב, וּמִנָּחוֹר עַד שֶׁנּוֹלַד תֶּרַח כ"ט, הֲרֵי צ"א, וּמִשָּׁם עַד שֶׁנּוֹלַד אַבְרָהָם ע', הֲרֵי קס"א, תֵּן לָהֶם מ"ח הֲרֵי ר"ט, וְאוֹתָה שָׁנָה הָיְתָה שְׁנַת הַפַּלָּגָה, וּכְשֶׁנֶּחְרְבָה סְדוֹם הָיָה אַבְרָהָם בֶּן צ"ט שָׁנָה, הֲרֵי מִדּוֹר הַפַּלָּגָה עַד כָּאן נ"ב שָׁנָה; וְצֹעַר אִחֲרָה יְשִׁיבָתָהּ אַחֲרֵי יְשִׁיבַת סְדוֹם וְחַבְרוֹתֶיהָ שָׁנָה אַחַת, הוּא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר אִמָּלְטָה נָּא, נָא בְּגִימַטְרִיָּא נ"א:

העיר הזאת קרובה THIS CITY IS NEAR — Its settlement as a city is near in point of time — it has been populated quite recently and therefore its measure is not yet filled (Shabbat 10b). And how recent was its settlement? It dated from the generation of the Dispersal of Nations, when mankind was scattered and men began to settle down each in his own place. This took place in the year when Peleg died, and from that time until now was fifty-two years, because Peleg died when Abraham was 48 years old. How is this? Peleg lived after he begat Reu 209 years (11:19): deduct from this number the 32 years that Reu was old when Serug was born (v. 22) and the 30 from the birth of Serug until the birth of Nahor (v. 22) giving 62, and from the birth of Nahor until Terah was born (v. 24) 29, giving 91, and from then until Abraham’s birth 70, giving a total of 161. Add 48 years of Abraham’s life and you have the 209. That was the year of the Dispersion. When Sodom was destroyed Abraham was 99 years old, so that from the Generation of the Dispersal (in the 48th year of Abraham’s life) until this time was 52 years. The colonisation of Zoar took place one year later than that of Sodom and its sister cities. To this fact reference is made in the words אמלטה נא “let me escape נא” i.e. let me escape to the city which is (נ''א (51 in numerical value.

2 ב

הלא מצער היא. וַהֲלֹא עֲוֹנוֹתֶיהָ מוּעָטִין וְיָכוֹל אַתָּה לְהַנִּיחָהּ:

הלא מצער הוא IS IT NOT SMALL?— Are not its sins but few, so that you can let it alone.

3 ג

ותחי נפשי בָּהּ, זֶהוּ מִדְרָשׁוֹ. וּפְשׁוּטוֹ שֶׁל מִקְרָא הֲלֹא עִיר קְטַנָּה הִיא וַאֲנָשִׁים בָּהּ מְעַט, אֵין לָךְ לְהַקְפִּיד אִם תַּנִּיחֶנָּה, וּתְחִי נַפְשִׁי בָהּ:

ותחי נפשי SO THAT MY SOUL MAY LIVE? This is the Midrashic explanation (Shabbat 10b). The real meaning of the verse is: Is it not a small city with few inhabitants; you therefore need not be particular about leaving it alone, so that my soul may live in it.